Are There Seasonal Consumer Buying Patterns With Wine?

According to BevSpot, a self-proclaimed “all-in-one food and beverage program management software” out of Boston, “Wine...sees its highest on-premise sales in the autumn, with demand dropping off after the December holidays end.”

So, why all the wine in the late fall?

Shipping

Vinfolio, a San Francisco-based company that specializes in collectible and fine wine, said that late fall and early spring are the safest times to ship bottles.

“Poor weather conditions...cause spoilage, especially in older wines. As a wine ages, its flavors become more delicate, and the cork itself begins to weaken.

Unless the wine is kept under ideal storage temperatures (55 degrees Fahrenheit) and shipped using these same temperature controls, the wine could cook in the summer heat, or the frigid winter could shut its flavor development down.”

If it’s too hot, oxidation could occur. If it’s being shipped in extreme weather, delays could be expected.

Holidays

Fall purchases set up avid wine collectors for the holiday season. When it comes to gifting and parties, many people choose wine as their go-to present, but they’re not picking just any bottle.

Vinfolio said, “Champagne and sparkling wine sales increase shortly before the winter holiday season, as more collectors buy these wines as gifts or seek out vintages to serve at holiday parties.”

For example, the company stated that for Prosecco, a popular Italian white wine, sales increased by 27 percent between September and December. This healthy sales increase was also mimicked for Cava, a white or rosé sparkling wine from Spain, and Korbel, a domestic “champagne.”

If you’re looking for an especially old or valuable Champagne vintage, consider buying it in November for the finest bottle -- and thank the foreign bubbly for fun Thanksgivings and New Year’s Eves.

Preferences

Casual wine lovers often enjoy a fresh rosé in the spring and early summer, as The Guardian reported sales nearly doubled for this popular summer varietal. The best time to get your hands on a good bottle of pink rosé is from late May to early June, while the weather is still mild.

If you’re feeling adventurous, go for a rosé champagne or a frozen cocktail of frosé. The trendy drink is made by combining pink rosé with lemon juice and sugar in a large container, and then freezing it for about seven hours before being blended into a sweet slush.

Random Factors

Which other trends affect wine buying?

  • Location. According to Statista, the United States (followed by France and Italy) drank more wine than any other country in 2017. To be more specific, BeSpot's 2017 data and Business Insider's 2014 data recognized New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts as the reigning champions of wine consumption per capita compared to other stores.

  • Restaurant. The Wine Market Council survey, according to Wine Enthusiast, "showed 64 percent of high frequency wine drinkers are very likely to order wine with Italian cooking, and 56 percent said the same of steakhouses. Japanese or sushi restaurants came out lowest."

  • Gender. Wine Enthusiast states that "women comprise 56 percent of the total wine drinking population," and the percentage of men who drink wine is growing every year.

  • Generation. Millennials are increasingly driving wine sales (30 percent), though Baby Boomers still make up the highest percentage (38 percent) of wine drinkers.

    "In just two years' time, millennial wine consumption has increased by 10 percent," according to Wine Enthusiast. The trend will continue to increase until the generation supersedes Baby Boomers. This younger generation is also more willing to experiment with foreign wines, driving imports specifically from South Africa, Greece, and Portugal. They're also driving the majority of sales in domestic wines, but not from California anymore. Washington, Oregon, and New York are the up-and-comers of the industry.

In short, seasonal buying patterns exist due to shipping arrangements and the holidays. However, it’s not all about the weather. People buy wine when depending on their preference, restaurant choice, gender, generation, location, and so much more.

For more information about fine wine, visit DMV Distributing in Frederick, Maryland.

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Topics: Wine Preference, Wine Seasons, Wine Gifting